Iomega StorCenter px4-300r review

£1241
Price when reviewed

The network storage market is crowded, and it can be difficult for manufacturers to make their products stand out. With the StorCenter px4-300r, Iomega has aimed to do just that by adding a bevy of cloud storage options to the standard range of network storage features.

It’s a pricey unit, but the StorCenter sets about justifying its high cost with gusto. Its 1U rack chassis is well built, with the four bays at the front using solid-metal drive carriers (although these aren’t lockable). Status LEDs for the drives are located above each one, and to one side is a tiny LCD panel, which provides not only basic system information, but also details on the amount of storage you have available and how much is occupied.

Redundancy is good, with room at the back for a pair of 170W hot-plug power supplies. Only one is included for the price shown above, however: a second will set you back around £240 exc VAT.

The appliance supports mirrors, stripes and RAID5 arrays, and its pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports can be bonded together into fault-tolerant, load-balanced or 802.3ad aggregated teams. Three USB 2 ports let you add external storage devices, but unfortunately, expansion using extra disk shelves isn’t an option.

Iomega StorCenter px4-300r

Iomega supplied our review unit with a quartet of 2TB SATA drives preconfigured in a RAID5 array. The Storage Manager utility makes light work of installation, locating the appliance on the network, and automatically mapping all the predefined shares to drive letters.

All available shares can be viewed in the software, along with iSCSI targets, and the Storage Manager handles IP SAN creation niftily, too. Just select an iSCSI target, choose to connect from its dropdown menu, pick a drive letter, and you can leave the Iomega to handle initiator configuration and target logon.

Storage Manager also provides quick access to the appliance’s management web console, which sees a substantial and welcome redesign. We found it much easier to use than its predecessor, and it opens with a wizard to help you with basic tasks, such as workgroup or Active Directory setup, and email alerting.

Backup features are extensive, and for most of these Iomega has its head firmly in the cloud. In our review of its ix12-300r Iomega promised it would be integrating parent company EMC’s MozyPro hosted service, and it’s now completed that work.

You can create a new account from the appliance’s web interface and, once activated, you can set up scheduled backup jobs of selected folders to MozyPro servers, and browse and restore existing backups if necessary.

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